Severe rainfall has broken a 40m levee, displaced 375 people and flooded 500 hectares of crops in western Colombia, reported Colombian daily El Pais Thursday.
The incidents occurred in the pacific coastal department of Valle del Cauca, with severe rainfall attributed to the “La Niña” weather phenomenon concentrated in the municipalities of Guacari and Trujillo.
Guacari Government Secretary Luis Carlos Bustamante said, “the losses for growers are enormous.”
La Niña is the less-talked-about counterpart of the “El Niño” weather phenomenon, largely producing the opposite effect.
On the American continent this results in heavy rainfall across northwestern Colombia, northern Brazil and parts of the Midwest, Rockies, California, and Pacific Northwest of the United States, while Peru and Chile are beset by drought.
Ricardo Lozano, Director of the Colombian Institute of Hydrology, Meteorology and Environmental Studies, said, “The phenomenon of La Niña is completed in mid-March or April […] the country receives seven times the rains that it normally gets and this impact is reflected in the vulnerability of many regions.”